J.K. Rowling reaches out to shooting survivor who quoted Dumbledore

The Harry Potter author wrote to teenager Cassidy Stay, who quoted the wizardly headmaster at her murdered family's memorial service, sending her condolences -- and a wand.

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Cassidy Stay quotes Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore in her family's eulogy. Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Harry Potter fans have been quoting the young wizard and his friends ever since J.K. Rowling published her first book, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." While most fans read the books purely for entertainment, some find solace in the books during tragedy.

When Texas teenager Cassidy Stay, the sole survivor of the brutal murder of her family, gave a heartfelt speech at their memorial service in July, she found strength in quoting Harry's mentor and headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light," Cassidy quoted.

"I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca, and Zach are in a much better place and that I'll be able to see them again one day. Stay strong," she added. CBS News' coverage of her speech is embedded below.

Rowling was reported to be so moved by the 15-year-old's story that she contacted Cassidy, sending her a handwritten note as well as a Hogwarts acceptance letter, a list of school supplies, a signed book and a wand.

While the contents of the letter remain private, Rowling's representatives have confirmed that the letter, which was written in purple ink, is indeed from Rowling.

The two have not met face to face, but there's already a Facebook campaign by fans entitled "We want JK Rowling to meet Cassidy Stay", with almost 7,000 fans to date.

There is also a fundraising campaign in place to help the teenager pay for medical bills from her own injuries from the shooting, as well as other financial responsibilities. Almost $400,000 has been raised so far.

 

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